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Microsoft Launches Avatar Kinect

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the intermediate-forms dept.

Microsoft 75

mikejuk writes "Is Avatar Kinect a world-changing innovation or is it just silly? The idea is simple enough. It uses Kinect to determine body position and facial expression and maps these in real-time onto an avatar displayed on the screen along with other similar avatars. The big question is: what is it good for? The simple answer is that you can hide behind your avatar. It is an opportunity for anyone who feels less than confident about their appearance to become a performer — Microsoft is running a stand-up-comedian-via-avatar competition, for example. The internet has long provided an anonymous platform where users can express themselves, and Avatar Kinect extends this to facial and body expressions. Perhaps this is how video phone calls finally catch on — I'll get my avatar to phone you."

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75 comments

Did you hear the one about the Norwegian Blond? (-1, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892020)

Typical Blond ...... First he painted the town red ... then he banged anything that moved.

Re:Did you hear the one about the Norwegian Blond? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892254)

Typical american..... First he looks like an idiot.... then he confirms it.

Re:Did you hear the one about the Norwegian Blond? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892542)

Typical Eurotrash, all talk and zero innovation.

Re:Did you hear the one about the Norwegian Blond? (-1)

dokc (1562391) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892880)

Typical american..... First he looks like an idiot.... then he confirms it.

Typical Eurotrash, all talk and zero innovation.

Typical Anonymous Cowards

Re:Did you hear the one about the Norwegian Blond? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36894000)

Ok, I LOL'd.

Fuck all the other haters.

Re:Did you hear the one about the Norwegian Blond? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36899618)

I'm not offended because of the nature of the comment, I'm offended because it's not funny. I think people sometimes thing anything that they consider shocking is automatically funny. It's like those idiots on Xbox Live or other online networks constantly saying "N*gger" or "Are you black".

I've shit more shocking things and pissed funnier ones.

Metaverse? (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892032)

Few years yet I guess.

Re:Metaverse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892112)

SL has proved we don't want (or can't handle?) a metaverse.

Re:Metaverse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892784)

SL has only proved that we don't want a metaverse with poor scaling and a crappy interface.

Re:Metaverse? (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#36893098)

As far as I'm concerned, the Internet is the metaverse, with a primitive, but workable standard interface (the web). We've implemented lots of other services on top of it, and it isn't run by one, single corporate overlord. We just lack the technology for a genuinely immersive, decentralized, widespread interface like what most of us dream about. Various games are just the closest we've gotten. Which is to say, not very.

Re:Metaverse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36893328)

And a system of imposed artificial scarcity imposed so people can flaunt their wealth in elitist avatars and accessories. It's a nice idea, but the technology isn't there, and even if it was then it's not going to florish while under such incompetant and self-serving management. The internet itsself is more like the metaverse, and really the whole 3D side of it is rather pointless in practical use. People don't want to be able to walk from one business to another next door... and even if they could, the first business would probably build a virtual wall at the boundry to keep their customers from seeing their competitors showing off their goods and advertising..

Re:Metaverse? (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 2 years ago | (#36902584)

Your right the technology isn't quite there yet, but its on its way, more importantly it could be incredibly useful. Even if a money grabbing corporate giant controlled it. A metaverse has no need to operate or look exactly like ours (just like computer desktops don’t operate like normal desks). You wouldn't walk out the front door then down the street to another company, you might open a magical door in the floor (maybe its a air gesture) that is a search engine and jump through a portal to a different planet that has the new manufacturer (where you can see and manipulate 3d versions of the products). Inside all these virtual stores you can have employee’s avatars help and advice you. I could be working in a New York software company writing software for a client in Italy while on my boat in the Caribbean. Now I don't give two hoots about buying a virtual Rolex for a pixel version of myself (although I’m sure people will do it); but I love the idea of telecommutes for all desk jobs; and any increase in the amount of information about the products for sale on the internet (3d scale manipulatable products, as well as access to the professionals working there) is very welcome.

Well this is interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892064)

I would imagine one good thing for it would be for people with social phobias to learn to communicate. It's a lot easier to talk to some puppet looking thing on a screen then a person. The fact it will probably be able to be slowly upgraded to more and more realistic faces means they can gradually move away from their phobia instead of shock treatment or a guy in varying masks.

Wasn't there some saying about how some people make things because there's a place for them and others make things and figure out a place for them? I'd say this fits into number 2, but number 2 is usually what causes unexpected advances so I'm fine with it.

Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (-1, Troll)

VisibleSchlong (2422274) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892074)

What the hell is Microsoft thinking?

If you could go back in time ten years ago and show people what the Xbox would turn into with crap like this no one would have believed you and would have told you to fuck off for making such a stupid joke.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (-1, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892228)

Uhhhh...they are thinking they ALREADY have the hardcore audience down pat and now here's something for the casuals? It isn't like MSFT is gonna quit getting piles of GoW/CoD/Halo style games so that audience will be happy slappy. Kinect is more for the casual/soccer mom/ family fun time demographic.

Personally, and as much as I hate this stupid buzzword its the only thing I can think of ATM to describe it, I am hoping that MSFT will finally get that "synergy" between products is a good thing. Everything should connect to everything, everything should be butt simple and seamless, it should all "just work". Now they have been getting pretty good about the home, with Win 7 and the X360 butt simple to connect to each other, now what they need is the Nokia WinPhone to have DirectX and an easy way to have mini-games or other time wasters connect with the X360 and affect your PC/X360 games. Then all they have to do is make Skype work with all of the above and they have a real shot at taking the #3 slot in mobile. No way they can beat the Droid/iOS juggernauts but a solid third will still be a shitload of cash.

So I'd say this is just MSFT finally growing a brain. They have the hardcore market, not much growth there anymore for them, so they need to grab the casuals. Considering everyone I know with a Wii has maybe 3 games for the thing and most of the time its gathering dust I'd say they can pull it off. The PS3 was waaay too expensive at launch and now the one two punch of the hack all over the news for weeks and Netflix making Blu Ray for most folks a non starter I'd say they are never gonna pull out of dead last this round.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (0)

wgoodman (1109297) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892266)

Why do they need bother with #3 if they're making a shitload of cash off of the Android manufactures?

LOL, Stupid Fanboys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892328)

Yeah, dipshit, keep telling yourself that..

Where Do We Begin... (2, Informative)

V_Vedra (2422310) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892310)

"they ALREADY have the hardcore audience down pat"

The Xbox 360 is completely dead in Japan.

The Xbox 360 is completely dead everywhere in Europe outside of the UK.

Microsoft doesn't have anything 'down' with the Xbox 360.

"Considering everyone I know with a Wii has maybe 3 games"

The Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 all have attach rates around 8.

"They have the hardcore market, not much growth there anymore for them"

The PS2 sold 100+ million consoles after it reached 50 million and dropped in price to $199 from $299.

"they have a real shot at taking the #3 slot in mobile"

Microsoft's mobile marketshare is plummeting each quarter. And Windows Phone 7 has a worldwide marektshare of 1 percent.

"The PS3 was waaay too expensive at launch and now the one two punch of the hack all over the news for weeks and Netflix making Blu Ray for most folks a non starter I'd say they are never gonna pull out of dead last this round."

The PS3 is outselling the Xbox 360 in 2011 by a large amount while still being 100 dollars more expensive and Microsoft blowing half a billion dollars on advertising and PR in 2011.

The Xbox 360 is in last place in worldwide installed base and has been for quite some time.

Stop reading fanboy fake sales number sites to avoid making a fool of yourself in the future.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892382)

This is just the next step.

Right now we're at generation 1 of NI (Natural Interfaces) that are cheaply made and useful. The only device that came close before was the PowerGlove, but only if you used it with a computer, not a NES.

The next generation of NI will likely make use of higher precision cameras (independent 12Mpixel cameras that can see in stereo, instead of this cheap .6mpixel color+fixed luma independent) so that individual facial features, fingers and other types of body sculpture (think flowing clothes, breast movement, flexing muscles) can be captured at 60fps. What we have now is extremely low precision, but it's good enough for 12 points of capture at 30fps.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36894020)

While you are right, "natural interfaces" are going somewhere; there's not going to be much of a revolution, more an evolution.

This Kinect toy is funny enough - like the Wiimotes - but it's just a gimmick for some easy party entertainment. Kind of like karaoke, the entertainment value is not in what you're doing, but in getting shitfaced with friends.

Just like there's always someone who thinks their invention is going to replace the mouse and keyboard; so there's always people who think console controllers are going to be replaced. Not very likely, until someone gets brain interfaces right - the current form of controllers is pretty optimal. Maybe small improvements can be made - which is why there's different models from different manufacturers - but the basic shape has evolved over a few generations (remember the original NES controllers, and the old 2600 ones?) to be something that's easy to pick up and comfortable to use; and, like the mouse and the keyboard, any potential contenders will have to be better by more than a bit to have a chance. Waving my arms in front of the telly trying to get Samus to shoot the bloody bastard instead of offering her tits for a spanish tie is not it, amusing though it might be for the spotters.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36901772)

I'd love to know EXACTLY how is it a troll to point out the obvious, that MSFT is going for the casual audience with the Kinect. I mean is anyone seriously think the GoW/CoD/MoH/Halo crowd is gonna put down their controllers to do a "pew pew' dance?

No it is simple math. MSFT has seen they have gotten just about all the hardcore gamers they are gonna this round and while the Sony fanboy keeps bringing up the Japanese numbers I would point out NEVER in history has a US console EVER sold in Japan, their tariffs make that an impossibility. In the other markets MSFT has gotten just about all the hardcore gamers they are gonna get, they have plenty of machines and the RRoD problem fixed, so where to go now?

Two words: Casual gamers. The Wii has shown that market is a good market but the one place the Wii comes up short is connectivity which MSFT with the PC extensions and XBL is quite good at. By sinking resources into Kinect they give all those soccer mom/ family fun time users a reason to look at the X360 and from the numbers of Kinects selling I'd say it was a smart move. The PS3 is still waaay overpriced compared to the X360 which starts at just $150, The Wii has virtually zero third party support outside of shovelware, so there is a serious opportunity for growth in this market if they play their cards right.

Will it work? I'd say it all depends on how well they can get quality third party support. They seem to have the connectivity down but without real quality third party support MSFT will have an uphill battle getting kinect to have legs. Only time will tell but I'd say it is anj excellent start.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (0, Flamebait)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#36893238)

...and here hairyfeet, after hundreds of karma-whoring posts, finally delivers his load of astroturf.

Die in a fire.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36893944)

.. and here Alex Belits demonstrates what can happen if you forget to take your medications. Oh wait.. he does that in every post.

Though.. I don't want you to die. I just have a problem with people who have defective brains like yours. I wish there was an island where we could dump all you low IQ losers.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892250)

What the hell is Microsoft thinking?

Bill Gates has finally caught up with the ideals of the Solarian society.

Re:Every Time You Think Kinect Can't Get Lamer (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#36895496)

I can't believe you've not be modded up :P

Read more books people.

Do You Wanna Date My Avatar (1)

Shad0wFyr3 (1335183) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892088)

obligatory guild reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urNyg1ftMIU [youtube.com]

Re:Do You Wanna Date My Avatar (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892706)

No but you'll be able to "chat roulette" with avatars jacking off.
Isn't that something?

It will be a few more years until Microsoft manages to make dating and marriage between avatars legal.

Re:Do You Wanna Date My Avatar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36893078)

Try 6 months tops.

Re:Do You Wanna Date My Avatar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36893310)

No but you'll be able to "chat roulette" with avatars jacking off.

I can not wait to do this with my anime squid avatar.

Real Avatars (4, Interesting)

Scorch_Mechanic (1879132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892094)

Finally, we can actually have the thing that we've been calling those stupid static (or worse, animated) pictures. A picture isn't an avatar. It's just a picture. An avatar is a full representation of the person hiding behind it, and with this software and the kinect (which is commercial, easy to acquire hardware for the geeks interested in this) we can finally have *real* avatars.

I think this is incredibly cool and a substantial step towards fullbody digital interactions over the internet being available to the man on the (first world country) street.

Re:Real Avatars (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892108)

Snowcrash is slowly coming true....

Re:Real Avatars (2)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892256)

If somebody manages to make this work with Second Life, it'll pretty much be there.

After that I think all that be left is to make an immersive interface, instead of sitting in front of a monitor.

LOL (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892146)

You're joking...right?

This is so retarded I am having a hard time believing this isn't a joke story.

The few people I know who were dumb enough to this piece of shit add-on have long since dumped it in the junk closet.

Clearing out the living room
Fucking with the lighting
Moving furniture out of the way
Dealing with clothing that doesn't work well with the system
Constantly losing tracking

Yeah, going through all that just to chat sounds real fun and 'innovative'.

Kinect is piece of junk novelty device. Marginally fun if you like flailing your arms around like an idiot in front of your TV and not caring that most of your motions aren't being recognized.

Re:LOL (1)

NickDB (1289180) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892606)

"Kinect is piece of junk novelty device"

They said that about the computer once.

Re:LOL (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36894498)

And, honestly, for most people it still is. It's only been the "social revolution" - facebook and twitter - that has really integrated the internet, and by extension computers, in people's daily lives.

The web is fun, but most people wouldn't have missed it much before facebook. Gaming was nice, but not really a mainstay outside of the hardcores. Spreadsheets and wordprocessors are, for the most, something that smells too much of the office to be much used at home.

The computer has never had a true, neccesary function in people's lives before the social aspect popped up - email being the closest thing. Now that facebook has integrated itself in people's social habits, a computer has become a more convenient way of checking up on your friends than the telephone.

It was probably inevitable; but before that a computer was an expensive piece of metal for light diversions to most people.

Think of the applications outside this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892124)

Consider the potential applications of this tech in other games. I mean, what if you could actually see the look on the face of that guy you just stabbed in your FPS of choice?

What is the point of this? (0)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892136)

Isn't the whole appeal of games and virtual worlds that you are NOT yourself when you use them?

If you want to do standup comedy while looking and acting exactly like yourself there's this other system for that. IIRC it's called "the real world".

Re:What is the point of this? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892160)

Isn't the whole appeal of games and virtual worlds that you are NOT yourself when you use them?

If you want to do standup comedy while looking and acting exactly like yourself there's this other system for that. IIRC it's called "the real world".

Wow I have heard of not reading the article, but you didn't even bother to read the crappy slashdot summary. The whole point is the avatar DOESN'T have to look exactly like you, it mimics your expressions and actions not your looks and features. It adds to the experience while still allowing people to hide themselves.

Re:What is the point of this? (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36894556)

> the avatar DOESN'T have to look exactly like you

For now. Remember how Suckerberg wants you to use your real name? Google's Schmidt commented along the same lines, at some point. Iirc, Blizzard has a similar policy on the forums. Google+ would like you to use your "common" name - not exactly the same, but close enough.

We're still safe, for now; but once it turns into an actual metaverse, how long will it be before the authorities think of the children, say well, if you've nothing to hide... and demand real-you avatars ?

Yes, far-off; out there; extreme and improbably. What if someone told you twenty years ago you'd have a choice between porn scanners and sexual harassment if you want to fly? Slippery slope, and all that.

Re:What is the point of this? (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36902698)

Isn't the whole appeal of games and virtual worlds that you are NOT yourself when you use them?

If you want to do standup comedy while looking and acting exactly like yourself there's this other system for that. IIRC it's called "the real world".

Wow I have heard of not reading the article, but you didn't even bother to read the crappy slashdot summary. The whole point is the avatar DOESN'T have to look exactly like you, it mimics your expressions and actions not your looks and features. It adds to the experience while still allowing people to hide themselves.

How is that made clear in any way in the "crappy slashdot summary"? To quote:

"It uses Kinect to determine body position and facial expression and maps these in real-time onto an avatar displayed on the screen along with other similar avatars."

Sounds a lot like it's simply mapping your image onto a virtual version of you, not animating a completely different character using your position/expression.

We know this answer already (3, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892184)

Is Avatar Kinect a world-changing innovation or is it just silly?

We've been asked this question before sometime around 2001. Back then it was Matrox and not Microsoft, and it was called HeadCasting [tomshardware.com]

The answer... it was just plain silly. The G550 was a failure for everything except extreme multi-monitor work and HeadCasting was a completely ignored feature.

I'm not sure about others, but for family and friends I'd rather see them when I talk to them, and for the rest of the people on my Steam "friends" list I'd prefer not even being able to hear them let alone see some stupid 3D image they hide behind.

Xbox Owners Turning Into Apple Users (-1, Troll)

V_Vedra (2422310) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892242)

The company that made the Kinect system tried to sell their stuff to Apple, Nintendo, and Sony. None of them wanted it. It was Microsoft who finally ended up buying this junk.

Now, predictably, stuff that no Xbox would have ever cared about that has been done for years with webcams or Sony's Eye Toy suddenly is 'innovative!!!' and 'amazing!!!'.

There really is nothing else to hype for the Xbox 360. I guess when you have only one thing to hype you hype it like your life depended on it.

Re:Xbox Owners Turning Into Apple Users (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892332)

stuff that no Xbox would have ever cared about that has been done for years with webcams or Sony's Eye Toy suddenly is 'innovative!!!' and 'amazing!!!'.

Well.

The hobbyists and computer vision people seem to be enjoying buying the things, so there must be something inherent different from webcams and the eye toy.

Even if it ends up being a complete flop, the research sector of other places should still benefit so huzzah?

MS's 500 Million Dollars In PR Money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892370)

The only thing 'different' is the 500 million in marketing and PR money Microsoft has been throwing around to anyone who will hype this piece of junk.

> the research sector of other places should still benefit

Oh god...

Re:Xbox Owners Turning Into Apple Users (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#36896912)

Also, unlike Move or the Wii, the Kinect doesn't require a controller. Which means... you can use a regular normal controller with Kinect and have it's added capabilities used elsewhere.

Mass Effect 3 is to support voice commands. Other games have gestures you can do whilst using a controller. No one will play an FPS with Kinect only, but there's no reason why Halo 4 can't have Kinect augmentation. Or other games - wasn't the next Forza supposed to let you turn your head to look around? Certainly better than trying to do it via a d-pad on the wheel controller. (And yeah, there were TrackIRs, but who wanted to put reflective dots on their head? Though it was popular with the flight sim crowds, who could put the dots on their helmets instead).

Eye Toy and the like can't manage that - they deal with a 2D image and use various tricks to separate the background from the foreground (notably movement) while Kinect uses the cheap but effective structured light fields to do 3D mapping so the player can be tracked always, even if they plop on the couch and not move.

Re:We know this answer already (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#36893526)

I'm not saying that I think that this will be different, but the perception of technology in the public has changed significantly since 2001 (back then, "ubiquitous computing" was a futuristic buzzword), so just because something didn't work in 2001 doesn't mean that it won't a decade later.

Re:We know this answer already (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#36905156)

Technology doesn't change acceptance of an idea, marketing does. To understand what I mean by this scroll down a page and read on the scientific interpretation of the "uncanny valley". It's not that it didn't work work back then its that the thought of talking to someone hearing them accurately seeing their face emote, and yet seeing a computer generated picture of someone or something else is discomforting to people. It falls into the realm of "We have video chat so what is the bloody point."

I predict this will fail for the same reason that robots are cool, but robots with faces are outright scary.

Video call optimisation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36892360)

I guess you could use this to reduce the amount of data that is sent during video calls. Just send across a model of your real face, and then send the model changes, rather than the full video. This would reduce a large amount of the dynamic nature of video chats (hey, look at what I can see outside my window), but would make the basic person-to-person, head-and-shoulders video much smoother.

Re:Video call optimisation (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#36893074)

Video conferencing doesn't use much data to begin with. Talking head model conferencing uses 16kbps, and full video uses 128-384kbps. Most home and business lines can easily manage that up and down.

Re:Video call optimisation (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#36897318)

Video conferencing doesn't use much data to begin with. Talking head model conferencing uses 16kbps, and full video uses 128-384kbps. Most home and business lines can easily manage that up and down.

I've been doing a distance degree with the Open University, and most of our tutorials are on-line, and it's voice-and-slides -- we get no video. "much data" is relative, and most commercial e-classroom environments don't support video conferencing past 3 or 4 participants.

The course I'm taking is French, and believe me, a voice-only conference call is a horrendous environment for trying to learn a language. I took part in a few experimental sessions on Second Life, and the experience was a whole lot better, although a lot of time was wasted while the other students tried to get to grips with the interface.

Personally, I think tech like this has the potential to alleviate many of the problems I've encountered during my degree.

HAL.

I'd prefer a realistic 3D scan of my own body... (2)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 2 years ago | (#36892984)

but this is a nice incremental step forward. When my avatar looks like one of the characters in Mass Effect (lip-syncing included) I'll be impressed. I suppose we'll need to wait for the next generation console and Kinect 2.

Re:I'd prefer a realistic 3D scan of my own body.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36893110)

After watching the Ghost Recon future soldier demo videos, it seems like the kinect is certainly CAPABLE of actually tracking minute motions (the guy opening and closing his hand to shoot). For example if you just open the calbration menu, you can barely make out your fingers if you open and close your hand unless you are extremely close, but if you boot up the UFC Trainer the little green tracking display in the corner has a much higher level of detail.

Re:I'd prefer a realistic 3D scan of my own body.. (0)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#36896760)

After watching the Ghost Recon future soldier demo videos, it seems like the kinect is certainly CAPABLE of actually tracking minute motions (the guy opening and closing his hand to shoot). For example if you just open the calbration menu, you can barely make out your fingers if you open and close your hand unless you are extremely close, but if you boot up the UFC Trainer the little green tracking display in the corner has a much higher level of detail.

Actually, the problem with Kinect is the Xbox360's USB2.0 port - it's not fast enough.

The kinect is equipped with a VGA camera (60fps), and the QVGA IR camera (60fps) and a 4-microphone array. This configuration just barely falls under the current USB bandwidth supported by the 360. And by current, it's what you can achieve with the 360 right now. The theoretical maximum transfer speed for the hardware is around 35MB/sec. Achieving that would let them run the IR camera at full VGA resolution, which should make it possible to detect fingers.

It's very possible Microsoft has got it working in a beta state for the E3 demos, but nothing solid and releasable yet (perhaps the overhead on the CPU is too high - it is USB, after all)

Re:I'd prefer a realistic 3D scan of my own body.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36900134)

After watching the Ghost Recon future soldier demo videos, it seems like the kinect is certainly CAPABLE of actually tracking minute motions (the guy opening and closing his hand to shoot). For example if you just open the calbration menu, you can barely make out your fingers if you open and close your hand unless you are extremely close, but if you boot up the UFC Trainer the little green tracking display in the corner has a much higher level of detail.

Actually, the problem with Kinect is the Xbox360's USB2.0 port - it's not fast enough.

The kinect is equipped with a VGA camera (60fps), and the QVGA IR camera (60fps) and a 4-microphone array. This configuration just barely falls under the current USB bandwidth supported by the 360. And by current, it's what you can achieve with the 360 right now. The theoretical maximum transfer speed for the hardware is around 35MB/sec. Achieving that would let them run the IR camera at full VGA resolution, which should make it possible to detect fingers.

It's very possible Microsoft has got it working in a beta state for the E3 demos, but nothing solid and releasable yet (perhaps the overhead on the CPU is too high - it is USB, after all)

Do you have any reference to the Kinect producing 60 fps? I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

Re:I'd prefer a realistic 3D scan of my own body.. (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 2 years ago | (#36912578)

After watching the Ghost Recon future soldier demo videos, it seems like the kinect is certainly CAPABLE of actually tracking minute motions (the guy opening and closing his hand to shoot). For example if you just open the calbration menu, you can barely make out your fingers if you open and close your hand unless you are extremely close, but if you boot up the UFC Trainer the little green tracking display in the corner has a much higher level of detail.

Actually, the problem with Kinect is the Xbox360's USB2.0 port - it's not fast enough.

The kinect is equipped with a VGA camera (60fps), and the QVGA IR camera (60fps) and a 4-microphone array. This configuration just barely falls under the current USB bandwidth supported by the 360. And by current, it's what you can achieve with the 360 right now. The theoretical maximum transfer speed for the hardware is around 35MB/sec. Achieving that would let them run the IR camera at full VGA resolution, which should make it possible to detect fingers.

It's very possible Microsoft has got it working in a beta state for the E3 demos, but nothing solid and releasable yet (perhaps the overhead on the CPU is too high - it is USB, after all)

Do you have any reference to the Kinect producing 60 fps? I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

Looks like 30 fps per 2 active people: http://rpad.tv/2010/06/29/xbox-360-kinect-limited-to-two-players-and-640-x-480/ [rpad.tv]

Re:I'd prefer a realistic 3D scan of my own body.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36894228)

That'll likely never happen. You'd be better waiting for a Mass Effect game to come out with a character that looks like YOU.

Re:I'd prefer a realistic 3D scan of my own body.. (1)

dxan (2192974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36905246)

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Virtual Mirror vs. sock puppet (0)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#36893116)

Hate to break this to everyone, but I don't spend much time looking at other people's avatars. If someone plays this at me, once the novelty wears off, I'll find something else to look at on the dual screen. Interesting question is how much video is actually people looking at themselves rather than looking at the person they are conversing with. Mirrors outsell sock puppets.

And the voice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36893258)

Also needs a voice changer program that actually sounds human. Not humanish. Indistinguishable. Something that can take someone of one age and gender, and make them sound like another in a way convincing enough not to be noticed.
 
I say this as a 24-year-old cursed with a voice that sounds like a 14-year-old. Such a voice is never taken seriously.

ta30 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36895724)

the 'coomunity'

I wonder how long ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36897160)

before James Cameron sues them ?

I like it. (0)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#36898338)

Though it isn't new and will be spouted as something Microsoft invented, I like it. I liked it when Matrox did it. I like it now. There is something inherently cool about a character behaving like me.

MMORPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36902134)

This is what will allow MMORPGs to show character movement realistically. Those dance competitions will now be based on the skill of the performer. Transmitting avatar positions takes up WAY less bandwidth than video.
Instead of just a few ways to hide & peer out from behind objects in FPSes, we can assume much more natural positions for cover.

Collision Detection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36905018)

Now all we need is a social area for avatars to "hang out" in (like PSN Home?) and avatar collision-detection algorithms...get ready for the virtual punch-ups of the decade! It will be great to watch...

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